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Hixson Transmission hosts free ladies clinics

Hixson Transmission and Total Car Care shows women the basics of what’s going on under their car’s hood at its free ladies clinics. The shop’s sixth clinic is set for Saturday, Feb. 18 at 9:30 a.m.

“We get so many customers that are women who are so scared to talk about their cars because they don’t know how they work,” said Elaine Merritt, clinic leader and office manager at Hixson Transmission. “We depend so much on our cars, and we wanted to empower women so they feel better about it.”

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Elaine Merritt, office manager at Hixson Transmission, will host a free ladies clinic to show women the basics of what goes on under the hood of their car, such as where to put different fluids, as well as how to check tire pressure and read the stains on their driveway. All participants in the clinic receive a free “I know what’s under my hood” T-shirt. The next clinic is Saturday, Feb. 18 at 9:30 a.m.

Attendees bring their own car, and ladies are greeted with coffee and muffins before learning to identify their main components.

Merritt said she will first use her own car to demonstrate for attendees how to find their batteries, where to put various fluids and how to check if a refill is necessary. Ladies will then pop their own hoods to test their newfound knowledge.

“Your vehicle is your lifeline, and if you don’t have the right amount of these fluids you can lose your lifeline,” Merritt said of the importance of women learning these skills.

She said she decided to hold the first ladies clinic when she first moved to Chattanooga. She took her car to a shop to have it checked before her trip and was told it needed new tires at just 30,000 miles. She discovered this was not the case after purchasing the tires, and her regret of not knowing better prompted her to learn more about her car and teach other women to avoid similar mistakes, she said.

“Unfortunately, not all shops are reputable and they can tell them things that aren’t true,” said Merritt.

How to check tire pressure and look at a tire’s tread and determine if new tires are necessary are therefore skills she feels are important to include in the clinic, she said. Merritt will also teach attendees how to read the stains on their driveway, identify what causes them and what they reveal about their cars.

At the conclusion of the hour-long clinic, all attendees will receive a free pink T-shirt proclaiming “I know what’s under my hood.”

The clinic is free and open to all women, but is limited to 10 participants. Merritt asks ladies to RSVP beforehand to ensure a spot.

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